Gustavus Tuckerman to Jane Addams, March 30, 1906


Holy Faith Rectory

My dear Miss Addams

It is just five years since you patiently listened to recital of my personal problem and kindly suggested a solution therefor. My rejection of the latter was due not to lack of appreciation of your wisdom or kindness but to reasons which then seemed cogent. While the interim has certainly not been time wasted, it has been a period of increasing internal discomfort and struggle; and the point has been reached at which it seems impossible [page 2] for me, as things are, to retain intellectual integrity while canonically bound to the P.E. Church. I have therefore resigned my charge here and shall leave it in a month from now.  I send you this information with no expectation of a renewal of the proposition made in 1901 but thinking that it might interest Miss Starr as well as yourself-–withal hoping that one of you might be able to suggest some service for the common good within my capacity to render, it matters little what or where. I have written to my old friend N. O. Nelson of Saint Louis and have consulted with another old friend here, Judge Wyatt of the Court of Special Sessions. Beyond this have taken no steps toward determining the future, expecting to take my family to my brother's farm in Mass. where we spent two months last summer and I tested my ability to undertake manual labor. This last I am prepared to engage in as a finality if necessity compels yet feel that my intellectual and experiential assets should if possible find investment for the common weal somewhere and somehow. Since then one of my acquaintences who feeling that my chief asset consists in ability to voice a living and liberating message [page 3] assure me that I should seek prophetic function in affiliation with one of the "liberal" churches certain of finding therein an eager and responsive hearing. This may to be true and it may come to this; but should it, I am fain, if possible, to support my family by some means other than an ecclesiastical stipend and to voice my message gratis or, at least, without fiscal prearrangement. Were anything to offer in the line of social or civic function I should feel it incumbent upon me to put in the summer in a clinic in normal course along the lines of the proposed work, preparatory to undertaking it in the autumn. Hence this letter. [page 4] I will only add, for Miss Starr's benefit, that my faith in the God of Jesus, in the sanity and sagacity of Jesus and in the practicability of his program was never stronger than it is today  As between discipleships to him ↑as I know him↓ and conformity to tradition and ecclesiastical custom, I have chosen the former.  That is my whole case in a nutshell.

Enclosed is a very poor print of a family group made in Dec. last.

With every good wish for you and Hull House I am already gratefully yours

Gustavus Tuckerman

874 East 166th St.
New York City
March Thirteenth '06

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